Campsite beyond Lonestar Geyser in Yellowstone


Nov 23, 2015
I like to do weekend backpack trips, and since I live near Yellowstone, that's where I do my weekend hikes. On the way to pick up a permit, I saw a reminder of why I should keep a clean camp.


I make some reservations, but I also just get walk in permits. I have a list of places that I think would be a “nice” distance, and that are supposed to be good campsites. In this case, I asked for a site near Lonestar Geyser, and got a site about 3/4 mile past Lonestar.

The trail was an old road. There were plenty of people. Some rode bikes, others were day hiking. I saw no one else with an overnight pack.

The trail went through the woods, often beside a river/creek, and occasionally by a meadow.


I always find the flowing grass-stuff in the stream to be enchanting. I like watching it flutter.


In areas near the meadows, the mosquitoes were abundant.


There’s a bike rack near the geyser. You can ride your bike on the old road, and then a couple of hundred yards before the geyser cone, you have to leave your bicycle. The bike rack is so you can lock your bike. It seems odd, in the woods, but it is functional.


This trip was in mid-July, and there were all kinds of flowers.



Where the mosquitoes live.



Lonestar Geyser. It goes off every three hours. I could have pulled out my Helinox Chair, and waited, but I’ve seen the show before, and I wanted to explore my campsite, So on I went.


The trail goes through some old, and current, thermal areas.


A trail runner was splashing cool water on himself. He and some other trail runners had run from the trailhead, to the Shoshone Geyser Basin, through the basin, and then were headed back to their vehicles. I have explored the Shoshone Geyser Basin before, it took ME a day out, a day to explore, and a day back


This was the view from the campsite. I was hesitant in selecting a spot for my tent, because there was so much thermal activity, but I finally picked a spot and put up my tent. I got out my chair, and went down to the stream to get some water and just look at my campsite. For $3, I owned a luscious little spot in Yellowstone. Thermals steaming, flowers blooming, a stream rushing by, a bear pole and a privy. It was like the Holiday Inn Express, only better because I had fresh flowers and thermal pools.


I’m still working on my ZPacks Altaplex setup. I have stayed dry and comfortable in it, but I still need to work on setting it up tautly.


Gentians and paintbrush.



The view from inside the tent. It includes a few mosquitoes, but also a hint of the weekend beauty available from a 3 mile walk.


The view as I drank my morning coffee.


There were a few thermal pools to pass as I hiked back to the trailhead. They were colorful, and, obviously, close to the trail. It’s important to watch your feet.



Again, Lonestar was just steaming. I hiked on.


Early, late, midday—the mosquitoes are out to greet park visitors!


I’m grateful that there are always walk in sites. Most of the time I get the first or second site I ask for. Once I had to ask for 12 sites before I got one. It doesn’t matter, though. There’s always something to see, watch and smell. :)
Last edited:


Dec 23, 2013
I have never seen Lonestar. A couple of years ago, when I was doing a day hike to Beach and Dryad Lakes, my wife and daughter hiked to Lonestar instead. I'm going to have to make time to go see it. Which campsite did you stay at?


Nov 23, 2015
I was at OA2. Last year I stayed at OA3. They’re great for weekends, or a quick trip in fr a first night on the way to someplace further. We stayed at OA3 on our way to Floyd’s Knob and down into the Bechler last year.

That’s a great shot Eric. I saw it three years ago, on my way to Shoshone Geyser Basin. I saw it both ways. This year, just steam. It puts on a nice show, and it’s not crowded by Yellowstone standards. I always find someone nice to talk to, and we chat about things they’ve seen, or things they want to see.
Jan 18, 2014
Just in case ya haven’t heard any positive feedback on yer reports, lemee say I am thoroughly enjoyin’ readin’ and lookin’ at th pics! It takes me to areas I’ve yet ta backpack in Yellowstone..I too am not the biggest fan of water crossings, unless my feet are sore n th water is ice cold...since I backpack in Chacos, I just saunter out to th middle of the creek n rest my toes! Keep on postin’...
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